Q: My last name is , what is my coat of arms or family crest?
A: The reality is that a coat of arms or family crest belongs to a specific family and not to all families who happen to share the same last name. If you have a coat of arms, it will have been inherited from one of your Great-Great-Great-etc. Grandfathers. In other words, a coat of arms belongs to a specific person and their descendants. The only way to authenticate your right to bear it is to have extensive family history.
Q: What is the difference between a Family Crest and a Coat of Arms?
A: The correct term is Coat of Arms. The crest is the element that sits on top of the helmet. That said, we don’t have a problem with the term Family Crest, and we sometimes use it interchangeably. A coat of arms, known as a full achievement, consists of the shield, mantling(that frilly stuff around the shield), helmet and crest on top of the helmet.
Q: Why have I found several versions of a coat of arms with my last name?
A: This relates to the unique inheritance mentioned above. When you see different versions with your same last name, it’s because someone with that name commissioned a unique coat of arms for use by their family. The coat of arms of the past served as a person’s signature and as then as it is now, you wouldn’t want someone with your same last name signing anything for you!
Q: Is a coat of arms only reserved for nobility?
A: Not at all, in fact, most coats of arms belong to non-noble families. In the past, the head of a family would have one commissioned to use as a signature on documents. The coat of arms was born out of necessity for the middle classes to be able to sign documents.
Q: What do the colors mean?
A: In general, the colors do not represent feelings or philosophies. Colors are usually chosen at the wishes of the commissioning donor or as part of bringing in the elements that represent the beliefs of the family.
Q: My family has had a coat of arms for many years, is it authentic?
A: Determining the authenticity of your coat of arms is based on family history. If you have extensive family history and can connect directly to one of your ancestors who had this particular coat of arms, you can bear it. This is very rare, and this is why we commission new arms for families.
Q: Does having a coat of arms make my family special?
A: Absolutely! When you sit down with your family and talk about the things that are important to you, it makes you very unique in the world today. Creating a coat of arms is not only fun, it’s also an experience that your family will have forever.
Q: Why is a coat of arms important?
A: It’s important because it’s a unique representation of you and your family’s beliefs and feelings. It binds you together behind common ideals and gives you strength and a rallying symbol for your family to have for now and for future generations.
Q: How long does it take to create a new coat of arms?
A: A coat of arms commission usually takes anywhere from 3 to 4 months from the beginning conversation to the delivery of the final documentation.
Q: What can I do with my coat of arms once I have it?
A: We call this Living your Coat of Arms, and there are many many things that you can do with it! We have arrangements with master craftsmen to produce hand engraved signet rings, woodcarvings, wall-hangings, watches and more. When you have a signet ring created, you can know that your ring is the only one of its kind in the world.
Q: Can I register my coat of arms?
A: There are several options for registering your coat of arms. We would be happy to discuss the options.